The ’90s called. They want their moral panic-induced censorship back.
Seriously, it’s like the games “journalists” of today don’t remember Jack Thompson’s failed crusade in the 1990s and early 2000s. His claims that video games caused violence were eventually dismissed (he was also disbarred for unrelated reasons), with little to no evidence supporting his theories.
But the ghost of the still-alive Thompson legacy has once again reared its ugly head, this time in the form of a concentrated effort to censor one particular video game — that no one has played — claiming it will lead to violence, even though such claims have failed to prove true in the past.
The latest example is the upcoming game “Six Days in Fallujah,” which sounds like a pretty cool concept for a game, combining gameplay and documentary in an attempt to show what it was like for everyone involved in the Second Battle of Fallujah back in 2004 — including U.S. troops, Iraqi troops, and civilians.
Erik Kain, who regularly writes about video games, explained that “Six Days in Fallujah” was not “Call Of Duty,” a famous video-game series that some claim as some kind of “war crime” game.
Still, “Six Days in Fallujah” has been lumped in with “Call Of Duty,” even though the former hasn’t even been released, and so no one who is condemning it has actually played it yet.
The usual voices are seeking to ban this game before it even goes to market. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued a press release last week insisting the game — which, again, no one has even played — is basically an “Arab murder simulator” that “glorifies violence that took the lives of over 800 Iraqi civilians, justifies the illegal invasion of Iraq and reinforces Islamophobic narratives.”
CAIR has a tendency to argue this position regarding anything which portrays Americans at war with Islamic countries, so it’s predictable they would attach the claim to something they haven’t seen. They’ve also moved beyond their press release and are now actively petitioning Sony and Microsoft to keep “Six Days in Fallujah” from their online stores, despite there being no evidence that so-called Islamophobia is fueled when a new war-based video game (or movie, or documentary, or TV show) is released.
However, games journalists — who are supposed to cover games — are actively rooting for “Six Days in Fallujah” to be banned. The Houston Press ran an opinion piece from someone who built upon CAIR’s words to make numerous assumptions about the game, comparing it to “Cut-and-paste military shooters with racist bents” and suggesting it would be “yet another adventure where we focus on how hard killing foreigners and people of color is on Americans while still not addressing why we did it in the first place.”
Kotaku, one of the most notorious outlets for “woke” commentary on video games, also parroted CAIR’s press release and suggested the game should be banned on various platforms, calling it “a step in the right direction.”
Again, there is little to no evidence that video games cause any of the world’s ills, as Stetson University psychology professor Christopher Ferguson wrote at Psychology Today.
“The good news, and a reason to be cautious about stating such effects, is that evidence for other video game effects outside of the violence realm has generally turned up very little. That’s true whether we’re looking at body-image concerns, sexist attitudes, or pro-militaristic attitudes. In general, beliefs that fictional media can influence behaviors or attitudes is largely exaggerated. Thus, even if the game were to portray a one-sided version of the Second Battle of Fallujah (something we don’t know since the game hasn’t been released) there’s no clear reason to believe it would have particularly noticeable effects on players’ attitudes toward Iraqi citizens,” Ferguson wrote.
If people want to boycott a service or product as an individual, that’s fine, but trying to get something widely banned over misplaced concerns that someone, somewhere might be hurt goes a step too far. The flip side, of course, is that all these outlets and organizations are giving the game more publicity, which will likely help the developers.
Unless, of course, Sony and Microsoft give in to a small number of activists with big microphones. After all, we’ve seen it happen before.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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